Is a 'Different' Psychiatry Possible? A Seminar with Professor Diana Rose and Professor Nikolas Rose

Black and white headshots of Diana Rose and Nikolas Rose

Room 920
Melbourne Law School
185 Pelham Street
University of Melbourne

and Online via Zoom


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On Thursday 5 October, Melbourne Social Equity Institute and Melbourne Law School Research Fellow Dr Piers Gooding are honoured to be hosting an intimate seminar with Professor Diana Rose and Professor Nikolas Rose, two world-leading scholars in social science concerning mental health

In this session, Rose and Rose will share a thought-provoking paper that advocates for transformative shifts in how we understand and address mental health challenges.

They argue that if ‘another psychiatry’ is possible – one that challenges conceptions of and ways of intervening in distress – this requires a radical reimagination of the role and responsibilities of the medically trained psychiatrist within and outside the clinical encounter.

Rose and Rose will examine a number of approaches that propose new models for psychiatric theory and practices: in the way that these approaches incorporate ‘social’ dimensions, in the way they involve ‘communities’ in treatment, in the ways that they engage mental health service users, and in the ways that they try to shift the power relations within the psychiatric encounter.

They will also explore the extent to which ‘alternatives’ – including ‘Postpsychiatry’, ‘Open Dialogue’, the ‘Power, Threat and Meaning Framework’ and Service User Involvement in Research – really do depart from mainstream models in terms of theory, practice and empirical research and identify some shortcomings in each.

This presentation was partly funded as part of Dr Gooding’s Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Research Fellowship (ARC No. DE200100483).

For guests attending in person, light refreshments will be served after the event.

Professor Diana Rose

Professor Diana Rose is a social scientist and mental health service user who undertakes research that examines mental health services from the perspectives of those who use or refuse them and takes this analysis beyond the clinical space. Diana is one of the pioneers of User/Survivor-Led and collaborative research. She has academic experience and also experience out of work and enmeshed in services. She is also an activist in the survivor movement. For twenty years, she lead the Service User Research Enterprise at King’s College London. Recently, Diana has conducted ethnographic research with User-Led Organisations (ULOs) to see how they fare in the current, and very complex, policy environment. Her work on consumer perspectives on Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) influenced National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines. Diana is currently writing a book with the provisional title “Mad Knowledge and User-Led Research’ which should be published next year.

Professor Nikolas Rose

Nikolas Rose is Distinguished Honorary Professor in the Research School of Social Sciences of the Australian National University and Honorary Professor in the Institute of Advanced Studies at University College London. He was Professor of Sociology at Kings College London from 2012 until retirement in April 2021. He was founding Head of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at King’s and Co-Founder and Co-Director of King’s ESRC Centre for Society and Mental Health. He was previously Martin White Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics and Political Science and Director of the LSE’s BIOS Centre for the Study of Bioscience, Biomedicine, Biotechnology and Society. He is founder and Editor-in-Chief of BioSocieties: an interdisciplinary journal for social studies of the life sciences. His books include The Politics of Life Itself (Princeton University Press, 2006),  Neuro (with Joelle Abi-Rached, Princeton University Press, 2013), Our Psychiatric Future (Polity Press, 2018) and The Urban Brain: Mental Health in the Vital City (with Des Fitzgerald, Princeton University Press, 2022).  His forthcoming book Questioning Humanity: Why does biology matter to the human sciences, with Thomas Osborne, will be published in 2024.